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Globalisation and the emerging regional governance of labour rights

Bob Deacon (University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK UNU‐CRIS, Bruges, Belgium)
Philippe De Lombaerde (UNU‐CRIS, Bruges, Belgium)
Maria Cristina Macovei (UNU‐CRIS, Bruges, Belgium)
Sonja Schröder (UNU‐CRIS, Bruges, Belgium)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 14 June 2011




This paper aims to review the case for improved (supra‐national) regional social and labour policies in principle, assess the extent to which existing regional associations of governments and regional organizations are actually developing effective regional labour policies in different sub‐regions of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, and finally explore the driving forces behind their development and suggest how they might be further enhanced.


The paper compares the emergence of regional policies concerning labour rights and migrant workers' rights across regions. A sample of more than 15 regional arrangements are then ranked on the basis of their commitment in these areas. Finally, correlations between these rankings and different indicators of (real) regional interdependence are looked at.


The paper shows that regional socio‐economic policies are gaining importance in different world regions, although speeds are varied and generally low. It is difficult, however, to find strong correlations with indicators of regional interdependence such as trade or migration.


The paper presents one of the first systematic accounts of the development of regional socio‐economic policies in different world regions. It shows at the same time that huge opportunities for new policy initiatives exist in this area.



Deacon, B., De Lombaerde, P., Macovei, M.C. and Schröder, S. (2011), "Globalisation and the emerging regional governance of labour rights", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 334-365.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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